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Mesenchymal stromal cells protect tissues from Th1 immune responses via IL-11 secretion.

Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) have been shown to modulate the function of various subsets of T cells such as naïve CD4+ T cells and IFNγ+ CD4+ Th1 cells; however, mechanisms underlying this regulation have not been fully deciphered. Our in vitro culture assays demonstrate that MSCs suppress the activation and function of CD4+ T cells by secreting interleukin 11, and neutralization of IL11 abrogates MSC-mediated suppression of CD4+ T cell function. Moreover, delayed-type, exogenous supplementation of IL11 significantly suppressed IFNγ+ expression by Th1 cells. Th1 and CD8+ cells play central roles in T cell-mediated tissue damage. Using a murine model of hypersensitivity response to study T cell-mediated tissue damage, we show that silencing IL11 in MSCs significantly abates the capacity of MSCs to suppress the generation of IFNγ-secreting CD4+ and CD8+ cells, failing to prevent T cell-mediated tissue inflammation and tissue damage.

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